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pain management

kimmeamkkimmeam Posts: 149
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Pain Management
4 months after acdf c5/6 my surgeon is dismissing me. He told me that he was referring me to pain management. Possibly the Dr there will figure out why I have not gotten better. Now I really don't know anything about pain management other than from some of the posts that I read here. It was my understanding that pm Dr. treat pain not to find the cause. I am wrong?

Ever since my fusion I have complained that I have only gotten worse. Some of the numbness & tingling in my hand is gone. The pain & weakness was only in the right side before now it has gotten really bad on my left side. New MRI he says looks good & the xray shows fusion. I've had PT & massage therapy with no relief.

I am upset that he is just dropping me. I think there is something wrong or I would be getting better not worse. The MRI before surgery showed herniations & bone spurs at the 3/4 & now he says it looks good.

I don't think pain management is the answer unless there is nothing that can be done? I'm confused, frustrated & upset. I thought that I would be better by now.




  • is the one that diagnosed me and found the cause of my pain. I think that surgeons really do not want to treat you unless you need surgery. Give the PM a chance he may actually be of more help to you than the surgeon was. Also, If it is a failed surgery, many surgeons do not like to admit to their failures. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Sounds like my story. Give the pain mgmt a chance, surgeons do not like to deal with the aftermaths of surgery. They like to think they did a great job and all is well. I am being treated by my pcp right now but have an appointment with pain mgmt in January. I don't take anything very strong, darvocet and neurontin but have found the past 2 months that it is not working very well. I will interview the pain doctor and if I don't like what I hear I will move on. I've decided to take matters in my own hands and do what is best for me.

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  • Kim,
    That disappointment is never easy and your PM may have some invasive elements or other techniques to help ease your plight, my opinion is that nuances of improvement are problematic and as me although you do not like the pain level you have now, would you want is to be worse or take that risk. That is a decision that only you can make and with that mantra of something must be done many people chose to continue having protracted treatment that may or may not improve the condition.

    My professor told me nothing could be done for me also, would I have wanted him not to tell me that, to delude me into thinking that something could be done, when in his opinion all that could be done, had been and this was my life now, that took some guts for any individual to tell another. That false hope is not actually reality and only increases your expectation that with just a bit more effort you problems could be resolved, and that is not always the case.

    With a heavy heart I accepted his view, and live my restrictive life within the parameters that are described here daily and all that entails for me and my family. In doing what is best for us we have to have that knowledge of the optimum route where to live within the best possible balance for our condition. We may never be the person that we once were, and we understand that with good grace, while not liking the outcome or lifestyle this mandates.

    PM may been seen as the last opportunity for some and we can embrace that in the knowledge that we tried our best every day, or continue chasing lost hope and illusive remedies and that bigger circle bring us back to where we are now.

    We need surgeons to be positive and enthusiastic realistic and caring and many many are, even if as me you are unfortunate in that my 91 fusion failed I try every single day as Shar says to do the best for me, with increased knowledge, understanding and graceful angst.

    Sternbach has written many books on PM.

    Take care and keep posting.

    John. :?
  • I am more than willing to try just about anything at this point. I never thought about getting older & having pain. I am just 43 years old & do not look forward to a life of pain. This just isn't fair! X( I've got a lot of living to do!

    I see the pm Dr. on Monday. I hope he has a plan. Right now my meds are ms contin 30 mg 2xday My PCP changed that from 3 per day. perc. 5/325 3x per day 150mg lyrica 2x day. I can only imagine what it would be like if I didn't take them. Right now I don't think they work so well. Sometimes I do have to double up on my percs, pretty much every day when I get home from work. I lie on my heating pad on the recliner to get some relief. Work makes it worse. I work for an O.D. I was pressured into going back after just 2 weeks. I work long days with much time in front of the computer doing insurance billing. This is hard on my neck & shoulders. I have tgold him this. He is just happy that I am there as I am all he has in this office.

    I feel that I was totally misled by my surgeon. He said that I had no other option but surgery & made the whole process sound like a walk in the park. Maybe he'd understand more if he was on my side. :?

    I thank you all for your advice & experience. I will let you all know how it goes on Monday. Wish me luck!
  • My surgeon led me to believe the same thing. He offered no other option and used the words bowel/bladder problems along with wheelchair. Scared me to death. He also made the surgery look so easy, sent me home with a little book to read. That was all the research I did, found the spine board after my revision surgery. We have to take our lives back, look for answers where we can find them. Try not to get down and move forward. Hope the PM can help you, if not look elsewhere.

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  • My story is just like yours. Dismissed after 8wks post op.
    And even my recent surgery the aortic bi fem. Dimissed after 2wks. After staple removal. Anyone that has had belly surgery knows how crappy and sore you feel for about a month or more. Plus actually starting all over with healing from back surgery as I could not walk before and now I can.

    So I called my pcp. He gave me enough for a month. Well that month was up this week. I called yesterday. He said why did you go through so many??? HUH I was totally lost. He gave me 5 a day to take of 10mg lortab. Which I really don 't like anyway. They give me headaches, but I needed something.
    So story was he goes those are very addicting??? HUH I know I said, you have been my dr for 10yrs plus and well I'v been on and off of them for a few years now.
    He goes I think you need pain managment. YES I KNOW. I said they cannot get me in till March.
    So is it possible you can take care of it till then?? NO.
    He said the surgeons are just being lazy and dont' want to deal with it. OK in a way I could agree with that.
    They do cut you open, think your fixed and expect you not to have pain.

    So I also will be going back to a long acting med. I'm only 41 to and don't want to do this the rest of my life. BUT as of right now we don't know if I will have to.
    I'm going to start making life style changes and I know it will take some time but I will see if it helps.
    Even saving money for a treadmill which will take forever, but ya need it in the Northeast. Thats for sure.

    I feel your pain. I'm worse in the morning if I don't wake up to take a valium or muscle relaxer. And by the end of the day you want to find a princess in the pea bed and curl up with that heating blanket.
    Shhhhhh I saw in my sons room something wrapped that looks like a new one =)) =)) =)) <:P <:P <:P Ya can never have enough of them :D <br />
    Hang in there. I am to. And let us know how you make out.
    Your not alone in this dept. There are thousands that suffer without proper control of pain everyday.

    Lots of thoughts and good vibes going your way.
    Terri O:)
  • Kim,
    As me you would expect your surgeon to be confident about the outcome and that notion that the origin of you pain can be specifically determined is a myth, many have pain with unspecified or unexplained reason even with MRi,s.

    Every invasive procedure carries some risk and for a small minority hope is all that is left, you would expect second opinions to concur with the initial view otherwise you would be in trouble and we all enter surgery with a positive outlook.

    PM will help you and that is up to you, the most effective are those who embrace this change, as if we had another option it is in the collective use of appropriate strategies that success is perceived to be more influential. The alternative as you surgeon now agrees is to stop and continue to seek non invasive improvement and good luck to you.

  • First, I want to thank you all for your sincere kind words of wisdom. I truly believe that you care & understand what I am going through.

    I had to reschedule my appt. with the P.M. DR. I was to see him last Monday. That morning my son was in a minor accident at School. Very icy roads & inexperienced drivers. Another student slid into him. Now I can not get in to see him until Jan. 19th. I am on a cancelation list. I called my PCP for an appt. on Friday. I will not have enough meds to last until the 19th. I try to not take them to make them last. That is not good. Then I can not get the pain under control. I just hope that she will refill my RX until I see the PM DR. If not I don't know what I'll do. I do look forward to my PM visit. I just need some sort of relief.!

    I am in WA state & it has been very cold snowy & lots of ice for a week now. I guess maybe that makes it worse4? I've heard so much about the cold making the pain worse.
    I did not get any of my Christmas baking done this year. I bought everything but am not able to do it. I have done very minimal shopping. My Husband & Son have done most of that for me. Now I have the wrapping to do. I can't get much done before it is unbearable.

    Thanks for letting me cry to you all. I really appreciate all of you!

    I wish you all a blessed holiday!

  • Kimmeam I to had the same neck problems after a double neck fusion doctor said he didn't know why I keep complaining because all my tests look good. He wanted me to see another doctor but that doctor couldn't get me in until Feb 2009 and my problems were back in sept 2008. He finally sent me for a catscan with contrast it came back that my body was rejecting the fusions which was with donor bone. When I had my 3rd neck surgery Nov 17, 2008 the doctor apoligized he told me where he had done the 2 previous surgeries was a complete mess and was most definately what had been causing me all my pain. Don't ever give up keep complaining someone will eventually listen.
  • Sounds oh so familiar to me too. I think that docs that don't at least tell you of the possibilty that it will be worse should be fined or something. How are we supposed to make an intelligent, informed decision if we do not have all of the facts? I had laser surgery and endoscopic microD. Told it would be a piece of cake, back to work in 7 days. That was last December. I am now totally disabled and never even knew that this was a possibilty.
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